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Pakistan Reels From Floods; WHO Warns Humanitarian Situation To Worsen


Record monsoon rains have washed away homes and businesses in Pakistan, while thousands of acres of farmland lie under water, ruining the season's crops.

Pakistan's Natural Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) says that 1,325 people have been killed in massive floods as the United Nations warned that the humanitarian situation across the country -- one-third of which is under water -- is worsening.

NDMA officials said that, on top of the death toll, more than 1,200 others have been injured in the floods that have affected some 33 million residents.

Record monsoon rains, intensified by climate change, have washed away homes and businesses, while thousands of acres of farmland lie under water, ruining the season's crops. Meanwhile, forecasters are predicting more rain in the coming days for some areas.

The UN's World Health Organization (WHO) warned on September 6 that waterborne diseases are already present in the country and "are getting worse."

"We have already received reports of an increased number of cases of acute watery diarrhea, typhoid, measles and malaria, especially in the worst-affected areas," WHO spokesman Tarik Jasarevic told reporters in Geneva, adding that rescue and aid workers are still having problems getting to some hard-hit areas.

"The situation is expected to worsen," he added.

Earlier this month, Pakistan and the United Nations issued a joint appeal for $160 million in emergency funding to help flood victims.

The UN refugee agency, UNHCR, has launched an air bridge to deliver aid from Dubai, while the WHO is appealing for $19 million from donors for medicines and emergency stockpiles, including tents, water-purification kits, and oral rehydration packs.

Pakistani officials have said it will take at least $10 billion and many years for the country to recover from the disaster.

With reporting by dpa and AFP

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